I wrote the following on February 27, 2008. Six months later, I'm still not used to her absence. Did you ever love a wild thing?
She was pretty much useless:
1) She only had one leg.
2) She couldn't even fly that well, for a bird -- she often came in
low, and toppled a bit.
3) She was plain to look at, and had one persistent feather that jutted
out the side, like a stubborn cowlick.
4) Towhees don't make breathtaking melodies, like mockingbirds do.
5) She stopped having babies several seasons ago.
6) She didn't know she had a name (Tikvah, meaning Hope) and we
couldn't pet her or hug her.
7) She barely knew we existed, and never said 'thank you' for the
expensive bird food we bought her.
8) After a storm I always had to go pick up the downed branches and
twigs, lest she trip over them on her one unsteady leg.
9) I constantly had to rush out to protect her from the cat next door
and, again, did she once say 'thank you'? No.
10) Now that she's gone, she's a real pain in the ass, because every
time I look in the back or side yards, fresh tears come.
Damned little nuisance.